Veggie Enchiladas

November 17, 2009

*** We regret to inform you that the accompanying picture has been confiscated by the Shitty Photo Police. There’s some wonky lighting coming in at Chez T. this time of the year; this dish deserves better than your standard TKW crap photo. Sincerely, The Management. ***

Okay, people, let’s talk comfort food! I could go on and on for days about comfort food, and how sometimes we just need it, and how sometimes you just need to eat it IN your bed, even if that’s a little icky, and how your choice of comfort food says a lot about you…but I won’t bore you with the details.

I will, however, share with you my Top 5 Go-To Comfort Foods and hope you will do so as well in the comments section. I love hearing what people eat…I’m a freak like that.

Now any of you readers who’ve been around here a while know my #1 comfort food (and yes, it’s shameful), but here’s the rest of the list:

TKW’s 5 Go-To Comfort Foods

5. A bowl of Mama’s Creamed Potatoes (recipe forthcoming)
4. The grilled cheese sandwich of my youth: sturdy white bread, Velveeta cheese (I know, I know!) and lots of butter.
3. Chicken a’la King on rice (not potatoes, not toast, not those patty shell thingy’s…it must be rice)
2. A rather runny poached egg on toast, cut up and mixed together so everything is salty and a little gummy and just slightly crunchy from the toast.
1. An enormous bowl of Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice, buttered and salted to death. This is the one I need to eat in bed.

A quick scan of this list proves several things:

~I am Carb Queen!!!! Me lovva da carbs. Alas, da carbs don’ta lovva my ass.
~Much to my husband’s horror, when the chips are down, I love creamy food.
~I am wicked lucky to have low blood pressure, because I think I need to install a personal salt lick in my home.

My husband’s list involves (like most people on Lipitor) lots of fried food. But his #1 comfort food, being a Texas-raised boy, is enchiladas.

But not the mild, sour-cream covered jobbers you see so many recipes for; sour cream is hubby’s Waterloo.

My boy likes spicy, non-creamy, enchiladas….the rolled kind, not the casserole-type enchiladas that are layered like a lasagna.

Which happen to be a pain in the ass to make, so he rarely gets them.

However, when I, The Cookbook Whore, caved and bought the new Gourmet cookbook a couple of weeks ago, I saw a recipe that just screamed HUBS! Well, with one small teeensy deviation. So I put on my big-girl apron and made a batch, using some roasted Hatch chiles I’d scored at the Farmer’s Market.


These were smoky and spicy and cheesy and absolute heaven. And unlike many things, totally worth the effort. And yes, that effort took about 2 hours, but once in a while, you gotta spoil the ones you love.

Vegetable Enchiladas with Creamy Poblano Sauce
serves 4-6

For Sauce:

3 poblano chiles, roasted and peeled
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1 large garlic clove
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, preferably corn oil
1 cup Mexican crema or creme fraiche***

For Filling:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, preferably corn oil
1 cup chopped white onion
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups corn kernels (from 2-3) or 1 (10-ounce) package frozen corn
1 pound zucchini (3 medium) cut into 1/3-inch dice
1 (14-to-15-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained, juice reserved, and chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons chopped jalapeno chile, including seeds, or to taste

For Enchiladas:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, preferably corn oil
12 (6-to-7-inch) corn tortillas
1/4 pound Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons Mexican crema or creme fraiche
2 tablespoons water

Make the Sauce: Open roasted chiles and spread flat; discard seeds and stems and cut out ribs. Coarsely chop chiles. Combine chiles, garlic, onion, salt and water in a blender and puree until smooth.

Heat oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Carefully add sauce (it will spatter) and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Stir in crema and remove from heat. **Because hubs is leery of creamy food, I only stirred in 1/4 cup creme fraiche. Worked fine.

Make the Filling: Heat the oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add onion, garlic and salt and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in corn and zucchini and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, cilantro, and jalapeno and cook, uncovered, over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Transfer filling to a large bowl to cool.

Make the Enchiladas: Put a rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 450. Lightly oil a 13-by-9-inch baking pan or flameproof baking dish. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

Reheat sauce over moderately high heat or until warm, if necessary, and transfer to a shallow bowl or pie plate. Add oil to a cleaned 10-inch skillet and heat over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add 1 tortilla and cook, turning once with tongs, until softened, 4 to 6 seconds. Transfer to paper-towel-lined baking sheet and blot each side. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas, stacking them once blotted.

Dip 1 tortilla in warm sauce, turning it with your fingers to coat both sides, and transfer to baking dish. Spoon about 1/3 cup filling down middle of tortilla and roll up to enclose filling. Push enchilada to one long side of baking dish; you will be forming 2 rows of 6 enchiladas each. Make more enchiladas in the same manner, arranging them tightly side by side in dish.

Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Stir together crema and water with a fork in a cup and drizzle over top (I omitted this step).

Bake enchiladas, uncovered, until hot and bubbling, about 15 minutes. If desired, brown under broiler 2 to 3 inches from heat, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

I served these with black beans and rice, and boy, were they good. This is definitely a “weekend” recipe–it’s not quick, by any stretch. But spicy, gooey and delicious–I mean it!

**Veg Heads (Nap, Kim, Sarah, Jen–this means you!): This recipe is totally Thanksgiving-worthy.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

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